After a few runs I have had in the recent past, I have decided to cover a few things that will make a tank a much better tank. These are not your normal "get hit capped/more dodge/blah blah blah" stuff. This will make you a better tank in that you will find that your runs will be smoother and nicer, which makes for a much better experience. This will be a multi-part post that, by the end of the last post, you should have everything you need to make your life better in game.
The first this I recommend to EVERY tank out there is.......stop and roll a healer. Yes, you heard me correctly. Stop tanking and to roll a healer. don't respec or dual spec and get a healing spec. I mean start from square one and start healing. Put all your points in healing as soon as you get them and then, at lvl10, Take off ALL your heirloom gear, replace the removed items with normal green/white items you can find and queue for BGs. First, this will heal build healing skills. Good healers learn that you can't just stand there and heal, there are times you have to heal and run as much as you can. This is easily learned in doing battleground. A big orc warrior or little gnome rogue is not gonna let you just sit there and heal, you have to learn to heal and move to stay alive and keep people alive. Stay with the group, the only way to learn good healing skills is to stay with the group and heal as much as you can. Remember, don't get healer tunnel vision. This is where you are healing everyone so much, you forget to heal yourself. This happens far more then you would think.
Now that you have leveled to 15 in battlegrounds, KEEP your heirloom gear off and queue in for random dungeons. Now you learn some of the major tanking points in game. You will now see how often a tank runs in for the next pull before you are ready and have mana back. You will now see how often YOU are blamed for not keeping people alive, even though you were out of mana, siad you were out of mana but the tank went in anyway. Here is where you will learn that healers are not supposed to loot ANYTHING, you are just supposed to keep up and heal. You.....are a healbot. You will also find some groups that the tank will listen to chat. Will wait for you to get mana, will let you loot and will not go charging in if you have less them half mana. Learning this all first hand, you will see what the healing classes go through in almost every run they get in to.
If you want to become a better tank, both for your sanity and for the good of the group (since running a dungeon/raid is a GROUP activity), you will do this until about lvl20 or lvl30. It will only take you about 2 days to do this and you will learn just about everything you need to know. Remember, you will not truly learn anything if you run to the AH and twink yourself out. If you really want to do this, and I recommend you do, you will do it properly and do this in normal level appropriate gear.
My next blog will cover step 2 in becoming a better tank for you and your group. When all is said and done, you will be a far better tank then you are now. Trust me, I've done it.